School of Planning and Research for National Development

Scope and Content

Papers relating to School of Planning and Research for National Development consists of material collected by Percy Johnson-Marshall while a student and during professional liaison with the school :  

  • papers relating to planning courses, 1948-1952
  • Percy Johnson-Marshall's course work for the SPRND "Three Month Completion Course", 1946
  • papers and photographs relating to the School of Planning Club, 1946-1951

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1935, the School of Planning and Research for National Development (SPRND) was set up as a postgraduate evening school within the Architectural Association (AA) School of Architecture. Here, graduates in architecture and other disciplines were able to take courses in planning and the diploma in town planning, ratified by the Town Planning Institute.

The main instigator was Eric Alan Ambrose Rowse, then Assistant Director of the AA School, but shortly to become its Principal. When he resigned as Principal of the AA School in  1938 , Rowse remained in charge of the SPRND. He took the School out from under the umbrella of the AA, in  1940 , when it moved to its own premises in Gordon Square, London, setting up an advisory board of influential people with an interest in planning. The first board included Sir Raymond Unwin (chairman), Lord Horder (vice chairman), Francis Rowland Yerbury (secretary and treasurer) and Philip H Massey (editor of research). Staff included the architect, Justin E Vulliamy and sociologist Ruth Glass. The same year, before enlisting in the army, Rowse brought in Jaqueline Tyrwhitt as deputy. The name was changed to the School of Planning and Research for Regional Development (SPRRD) and, with War Office funding, a correspondence course in town planning for servicemen was set up. Government funding continued after the war, and completion courses were run for demobbed servicemen.

The School had very close links to its sister organisation the Association for Planning and Regional Reconstruction (APRR), with the School of Planning using its library. With Rowse back as Principal in  1947 , the emphasis was on team-work for training in regional planning. However, after the  1951  Royal Institute of British Architects Schuster Committee Report on the training of architects and planners, government funding was withdrawn and, despite protests from a variety of influential quarters, the School closed in  1954 .

Percy Johnson-Marshall took the School of Planning and Research for Regional Development (SPRRD) intensive completion course, between in  1946 , in order to gain his Diploma in Town Planning. A School of Planning Club, with Percy Johnson-Marshall as Secretary, was in operation between  1948 and 1954 .


The arrangement of this reflects the formats of the original materials due to the small amount of material and the storage difficulties caused by their differing sizes and requirements.

Access Information

Material relating to living individuals may be restricted under the Data Protection Act, 1998.


Former reference numbers: FR1, FR75, SR11, SR21, SR28,


Related Material

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Geographical Names